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Full text of "The manufacture and properties of iron and steel"

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592                                     THE IRON INDUSTRY.
progress -which has led Germany to abolish woman labor in steel works, which emancipated woman in England a generation ago, and which never allowed her to consider drudgery in America, will extend its power over Belgium and Austria. When this happens the wages of men must be increased, as there will be but one wage-earner in the household.
The spread of general intelligence will also have its effect upon the remote districts. At present the working-classes in many places seem bound to their home' and to the vocation that their fathers knew before them. This is a sort of mediaeval and provincial idea not entirely absent in other parts of Europe, and it may even be detected in America, but in England and in the United States it cannot be reckoned with in the labor situation. These ideas must disappear and with them will disappear the cheap labor of Belgium, although all history shows that an increase in the wages of the day laborer need not necessarily raise the cost of manufactures.
In addition to her production of steel, Belgium turns out a large quantity of puddled iron. In the year 1900 her production of steel was 655,000 tons and of wrought-iron 358,000 tons, a great deal of the latter being exported in the form of structural shapes. Belgium covers an area of only 11,370 square miles and had a popula-" tion in 1899 of 6,744,532, so that her output of steel and wrought-iron is greater per inhabitant than any other nation. As a result she must seek an outlet, and her "exports of iron and steel wares amount to nearly one-half her production. The actual tonnage shipped, however, is comparatively small, being only one-quarter of the exports of Great Britain.
The area of Belgium is only one-fourth that of Pennsylvania, but if we take the southwestern part of the latter State, comprising the coke and iron districts in the counties of Allegheny, Westmoreland and Fayette, and as far east as Indiana, Cambria and Blair, we find that this section of the State, though having the same number of square miles as Belgium, contains less than one-fourth, of her population. Or if we take the most thickly settled three States in the Union—the New England States, Massachusetts, Ehode Island and Connecticut—these three have an area thirty per cent, greater than Belgium and yet have only half the population. These figures give some idea of the density of population in this ancient State.